Abortion vs. War

Edited. My niece asked me this question this weekend. Any ideas? Why is it considered murder if a woman chooses abortion to save her life and not for a soldier to defend his country?
For further context, she identifies herself as atheist but I believe it is more of an angry reaction to some difficulties in her life and what she sees as inconsistencies in God than attempting to discount the existence of God through a materialistic worldview. The conversation started around the dinner table via politics and through the discussion she and I began to talk about spiritual issues. (An answer to a couple of months of prayer.) She was not being rude or disrespectful in her questions. I think she has sincere questions. Religion has been modeled in her home but true Christ following Christianity has not. That has caused a lot of confusion of what God’s love actually looks like.

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With respect to war, I believe the answer to your question may have something to do with the language of the commandment, ‘thou shall not kill’ versus ‘thou shall not murder.’ Christ taught His disciples that if we hate someone that it’s the same as murder. So, can we conclude that killing is different than murder?

As for abortion, I personally have always struggled with calling it murder, but I feel it is far worse than murder. God is the creator, anytime we humans are so arrogant to think we can or should destroy or alter His creation we are blaspheming our Father in Heaven.

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Wow! What a good question, Jim! I don’t know that I have any answers, but I do have some thoughts. :blush:

First of all, I would like to direct you to a recent discussion in the Daily Evangelism category: “Abortion…any exceptions”. I think you might find that discussion useful.

May I ask how old your niece is? I’m just wondering as to the context of this question (i.e Was it asked in the context of the recent events in Alabama? Does it sound like she is repeating someone else’s views? Was she angry when she asked this question? Perplexed? Dismissive? Does she have some personal experience informing this question? Is she simply trying to make sense of her world?

First of all, I am convinced that God loves the mother-to-be as much as He loves the soldier, the casualties of war and, of course, the unborn child. I believe He experiences great pain when we make choices which hurt or kill others, no matter the circumstance.

We as Christ followers should perhaps ask how we can reach out to lend a helping hand, provide emotional, spiritual and tangible support to these women in distress. Do I have the right to stand in condemnation of another (but for the grace of God go I)? There is also much for a woman to endure post abortion which, I believe, God would wish to spare us. The taking of a life is a serious blow to the soul, regardless of the circumstances.

As with many hot topics today, we have become very polarized on the issue of abortion. I believe that whereas there is a need for laws, the issue of abortion is an intensely personal one. Legislating against it will not change a person’s heart. Jesus is the only one who can do this kind of changing.

It should also be acknowledged that mainstream media favours exceptional circumstances such as pregnancies resulting from rape and pregnancies which can endanger the mother’s health (I heard recently that when the mother’s life is endangered by a pregnancy, the argument in favour of terminationg that pregnancy is centred around the fact that if the mother dies, so often will the unborn child). I do not recall where I heard this argument, nor do I know whether it is reliable.

As for the reference to soldiers…there are denominations of the Christian church which would argue that killing on the battlefield is akin to murder.

I don’t think that there are any easy answers to this dilemma - each individual situation is as unique as the individuals involved.

May God richly bless you as you continue to engage your niece in conversation on this heavy issue. May He grant you wisdom and grace to speak to her heart.

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Great answer Tara, especially we need to first be understanding off the person asking the question and understand if it is a personal question and there is some personal hurt, where a strictly philosophical argument is not going to help if there is no love shown first…

I would question whether this is a dilemma, where the choice is between two equally undesirable, or forcing us to choose between the two. I think they are in different categories; one personal, and one national. I don’t think that a person can say, "I believe that war is murder, therefore that justifies abortion’.

I’ve found what appears to be an argument linking the two together: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12178844

Abstract

PIP:

Currently Catholic bishops are applying an inconsistent ethical paradigm to the issues of war and abortion. Based on the seamless garment theory war, abortion and capital punishment are all immoral acts because they are of the same garment. They are all “killing acts” and as such they are immoral. However there is within the Catholic paradigm the idea of a just war.

The just war theory states that the destruction of human life in war is justified if it is for a greater good. However abortion has no exceptions, there is no just abortion in the rules of the Catholic Church.

The author takes the just war doctrine as presented by the Catholic Church and shows how it could easily apply to abortion. Both war and abortion involve the taking of a human life, but in the case of war the taking of a life is justified if it is done to protect your own life. The same exception in abortion would be to allow abortion when the mother’s life is in danger. yet no such exception exists.

Agreed - only if the mother’s life is without question in danger. I would ask what proportion of abortion decisions are because the mother’s life is in danger.

The just war theory further states that was is necessary to protect national integrity, particularly if the violation erodes the quality of life for its citizens. The same exception for abortion would include allowing abortions for women who already have more children then they can care for or if having the child would erode the quality of life for the woman.

I disagree with this because it confuses national integrity with personal (mother’s) ‘capacity to care’ - and forgets that unborn children have value too. An unborn child’s personal integrity being at risk because of a mother’s inability to care for the child is invalid because someone else can adopt and provide good care.

Other aspects of the just war theory include the competence and goals of the national leaders. Women must also be allowed to be competent moral agents. Proponents of the seamless garment theory will bring up the fact that in a just war only combatants die yet the fetus is innocent. But no war has ever been fought without the loss of innocent civilians.

This is like saying because innocent people die in war (regrettable), this makes terminating innocent unborn children a regrettable but necessary thing.

@SeanO has a good response to decision to participate in war. Serving the Army

The thread that Tara mentions is here: Abortion....any exceptions?

I wonder if the conversation could be steered towards the larger question of Morality:
How do you determine good and bad?

And we know that nobody can keep the Law, it is a ‘schoolmaster’ to point us to our need of Christ. Galatians 3.

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I think that this is a great question and also a very difficult one. Personally, I speak from the perspective of being a soldier who has worked to defend his country and I want to speak on that, but I do not want to over simplify an answer to such a complex question. A soldier fights to defend his own life yes…but a soldier also fights to defend the lives of those around him. In history soldiers have fought to defend many things, but they have also fought to defeat something as well. What would our world be like if no one had fought against the Nazi regimes to stop their evil practices? If such an evil empire had been allowed to progress unchecked then we could surely say that at least some parts of the world would look very different today.
For every soldier, there is a personal decision that must be made any time the possibility of having to take a life arises. Some may find this an easy decision, others perhaps will find it much more difficult, but a decision must be made. My personal view on it would be to hope that many people never have to make the decision themselves. Such things are not to be taken lightly and those people should be regarded with great caution and pity who find such a decision to be an easy one.
Now we look at a different perspective. A woman who will die is presented with the possibility of aborting the child she is carrying to save her life. What is the right decision? Already this situation feels very different from the idea of a soldier doing his duty. Who knows the answer? Such a situation is one in which the answer eludes us, and I believe it does so with a good reason. In this situation we have a completely unknown life that we are considering, but yet still a life. If the answer were to come too easily to such a question I believe that would be quite dangerous.
Is it murder? The dictionary definition of murder is “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” Key to this is premeditation. Because premeditation reveals something that we usually cannot see…intent. Intent is the key to purpose in human action. Certainly this is no easy answer to come up with, but if the intent, the very workings of the heart in such a decision are not murderous, is it murder?
Perhaps, like the soldier who must personally make such a decision about whether or not to take a life, this decision is best left to one person alone, the woman who finds herself in such a situation. Only in that moment, under those circumstances, only then will the intent of that specific person’s heart be revealed. But not to us, because a decision such as this I do not believe is between two people on this Earth. Such things are a matter between that person and God Himself. Will the right decision be made? I do not know, nor do I wish to be the one who has to know. That is beyond my realm of authority. But I would say that we have no place in such a final decision. Can we say that it is horrible that such things have to be decided? Yes. But we cannot say that we have the all encompassing answer to each personal situation. Believe me when I say, I do not think anyone would truly want that power anyway.
I will leave this as my final thought. I do not condone abortion. Abortion was legalized for many reasons, but i believe the least considered one at the time was this situation we have discussed here. There are many people who use it as a tool to live by their passions and escape the results of living in such ways. In that case it is most certainly murder. Intent is clear in such situations, but we as a country have allowed the freedom of having “choice” to cloud the perception of what are good choices and what are not. I suppose that is why we did not preface it as the freedom of “good” choice.
No matter what the situation we find ourselves in, I would hope that we first have a relationship with the only one who has true and reliable answers to the despicable situations in which we can find ourselves…Jesus Christ. Only then can we hope to navigate the myriad of difficult choices that will come our way during our time in this life.
Hopefully my thoughts here have served to clear up some of the issue, or perhaps I have only muddied the waters even more, in which case I apologize. But I truly hope that you find the answer you are looking for here and that your niece also finds the answer she needs. Whether she is seeking a deeper understanding of some of the great issues in life, or merely posing this question as a simple curiosity, it is a great question and likely one that we will come across more than once in our lives. I hope you find a satisfactory answer Jim. God bless you and thank you.

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Thankyou so much for sharing. My grandpa served in the Second World War defending Australia, and he was a great example to me in my own life as a great Christian.

I personally am so thankful for men willing to defend their country. Freedom is never free. Greater love has no man than being willing to lay down his life for his friends.

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Thanks everyone. I hope you understand she was not attacking soldiers. She was using their duty to kill vs. the self defense of the mother whose baby may kill her. She in no way questions the soldiers faith or integrity by doing what they have to do.

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Hi Jim, I am sorry if my response came across in any way as though I was questioning your niece’s opinion of soldiers or their integrity. That was certainly not my intent. From your question, I interpreted her to be more focused on the abortion side if the equation. I certainly gleaned some new insights from both Matthews in response to your niece’s question and am curious to hear some of your own thoughts. I am eager to learn more on this topic, myself😊.

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Jim,

Not at all. It never even occurred to me that she was implying something like that. I understood her question just fine and hope that you found a satisfactory answer or at least some good talking points in the responses you recieved. Thank you for posting her question and please post more of you have them or your niece does. God bless.

Matthew

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Jim,
I’ll be praying for you and your niece. She sounds like a deep thinking and compassionate young lady who really wants thoughtful and truthful answers.

Your post reminded me of an article I read awhile ago… I hope this helps you. It certainly helped me.

written by Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN, is executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists and Lila Rose, LiveAction

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Hi Tara,

I so very much appreciate your thoughts on this and loved two of them especially:

*** I am convinced that God loves the mother-to-be as much as He loves the soldier, the casualties of war and, of course, the unborn child. I believe He experiences great pain when we make choices which hurt or kill others, no matter the circumstance.

and

**** We as Christ followers should perhaps ask how we can reach out to lend a helping hand, provide emotional, spiritual and tangible support to these women in distress. Do I have the right to stand in condemnation of another (but for the grace of God go I)? There is also much for a woman to endure post abortion which, I believe, God would wish to spare us. The taking of a life is a serious blow to the soul, regardless of the circumstances.

Having been in this area of ministry I’ve seen just about every scenario that can present itself.
I would never condemn anyone. We do however share the truth in love and compassion and followup care, regardless of the choice a woman makes. We try our best to love her into making a positive choice that she can live with in the years that follow…

I thought you may like to read this article. I had struggled with where I stood on this possible scenario of a women’s life endangered by pregnancy…and this article helped tremendously. And gives great hope for women and babies.

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Great response to this extremely complex question. I agree, abortion is evil, but the Church should not force morality.

I especially appreciated your comparison and contrast to the mindset of a soldier compared to a woman facing a choice of an unexpected pregnancy.

Hi, Shane. I thought this was an interesting statement. In the interest of understanding better, do you believe the realm of morality is confined to the Church?

Hi Lindsay,

This is a very challenging topic. I begin by trying to understand how Christ expects us to participate with the government. What I feel is clear from the gospels is that Christ is against the legalism of the Pharisees, but says not one letter is to be taken out of His law. And, give to Caesar what is Caesar, which seems to be a clear separation of church and state.

To answer your question, yes and no. Yes the church should be responsible for the realm of morality, but only within the Church. However, should government regulate morality, and of course there are things that government should regulate that are moral crimes such as theft and murder. Those are easy to agree with because law and order is essential to any society.

The law stops at some moral and ethical lines because it is simply not possible to govern every little aspect of our lives. Civil courts dive into ethics a little deeper than criminal court does, but generally it comes down to contractual law for most ethical disputes. Morality that is not regulated by law, well, that is different. Pornography is a very good example, it is clearly not moral to allow pornography in certain places like schools and public places like hospitals, government buildings etc. in fact, pornography is a community standard, one that has been so very much watered down largely in part to the freedom of expression and what is called art.

It’s interesting actually because the church has sort of created our own current mess. At one point in our country we did have moral standards as part of our law. Pornography was very much restricted, e.g. magazines could not be displayed, no billboards of sex shops, and there wasn’t a $40 Billion dollar porn industry taking over the minds of the sexually perverse.

So, why should our society regulate abortion but not do anything to prevent our children from seeing the constant influence of sex in our culture. If we are to become a morality policing nation, in my humble opinion, it should start with being the community standard of what pornography is back down to what is truly within decency to keep smut out of the hands of kids going through puberty. But, abolishing abortion, again in my opinion, will just be perceived as the Christians forcing nonbelievers to be moral.

Abortion is evil, there is no question, but so is pornography, and so is capitalism. I just feel Christ calls us to disciple, not regulate. As the body of Christ we should show the world we love and forgive, not jam laws down their throat. We can never regulate evil, nor should we try.

With love,
Shane

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Murder is the taking of an innocent life (without the person being a threat to you or have committed a crime). Killing in war is the taking of the life of an enemy combatant. One is an innocent unborn child who can’t defend themselves, the other is a fully grown adult who is there to do the same to you.
The 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) gives the command “you shall not murder”. Some translations do use the word “kill” (KJV) but this is not correct to the Hebrew word which is râtsach the way we define the world today. Râtsach means to dash in pieces, i.e. kill (a human being), espec. to murder:—put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er). I’d point out the type of abortion used past 14 weeks (generally D&E abortion) fits the definition pretty well…(dash to pieces).

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Hi, Shane @Shane_Kennett. Thank you for your response, and apologies for not getting back until now. Just a helpful tip for future dialogue with another person in a thread, use the @ symbol followed by the person’s name to whom you are responding, and it will notify the person you have responded to him/her :slight_smile:. Or you could also hit the “reply” button on the specific post to which you are responding, and that will also notify the person of your response.

Shane_Kennett:

So, why should our society regulate abortion but not do anything to prevent our children from seeing the constant influence of sex in our culture.

This could be argued not just with abortion but with other things grounded in a sense of morality like murder and theft. So if we speak out against murder and theft and affirm that those should be illegal, as we well should, then we have undermined this argument already. Simply because all moral matters are not and should not be regulated legally does not mean there are none that should be regulated. According to the Bible, an unborn child is a human life God has Himself ordained to exist. Following that, to take an innocent life, premeditated or not, is a sin, and both manslaughter (which does not have to be premeditated) and murder are physically harming another human being which should always be regulated legally. Though I would never ever use those terms in speaking with a woman who has had an abortion (she goes through enough), the truth of what killing an unborn child is cannot be denied. It is the taking of an innocent human life, regardless of the reason.

Shane_Kennett:

This is a very challenging topic. I begin by trying to understand how Christ expects us to participate with the government. What I feel is clear from the gospels is that Christ is against the legalism of the Pharisees, but says not one letter is to be taken out of His law. And, give to Caesar what is Caesar, which seems to be a clear separation of church and state.

The term “legalism” as used in reference to the Pharisees’ understanding of the Jewish faith, their, attitudes and judgments is not referring to civil government. It has to do with the Pharisees’ thinking they can earn their way into God’s grace with their works and nothing to do with participation in civil law and government. And “give to Caesar what is Caesar” also does not speak to separation of church and state. In context, those challenging Jesus were trying to trap him, because they thought it was an either/or question that would force Jesus into guilt and indictment either way he responded, and Jesus evaded that attempted force at logic altogether. Again, this had nothing to do with separation of Church and state. In fact, Jesus here was indeed drawing a moral line, saying while we belong to God, it is also right to participate in civil government to the extent we are required and able. He was not at all making a statement about separation but a statement about moral responsibility that honors God in all areas of life, including participation in government. That actually works against separation of church and state as far as Christian responsibility in moral ethics goes, not for it.

In Jesus’ world, there was no election, no votes over which to steward, so we can’t go back to Jesus’ world and attempt to force those contexts onto our own. If one lives in a nation where the citizens are able to vote in their lawmakers and make their voices heard, that, indeed, comes into the realm of stewardship, and Christians need to steward their votes, their voices well. If we have the ability to work towards making something illegal that physically harms another human being, whether in the womb or out, biblically speaking, we should do so. If we don’t and fail to exercise proper stewardship over something over which we have some control, then we are neglecting to honor God in our inaction in our stewardship. Sins of omission make us just as guilty as sins of commission. We cannot compartmentalize our Faith to one area of life when proper worship is a response to God in all areas of our lives, including the ways we are provided (if there is provision, depending upon which nation a person lives in) participation in government. In a nation like the United States where it is specifically set up to be governed by the people, that is even more true. Church and state are separate in role and function, and yet that does not mean their roles and functions cannot and do not overlap in areas like morality. Also, as dual citizens of the kingdom of heaven and this world–sojourners living in this world, we have responsibilities in both. Morality is one of those responsibilities that we must steward. Just because we should not work for divorce to be illegal though it is morally wrong, that does not mean we should not work for child sex trafficking to be illegal. In a discussion about sin, we could say all sin is the same in the sense that it puts us in the same position before God: falling short of His glory and in desperate need of salvation, and yet God deals more severely with some sins than others throughout the Bible, as does his apostle Paul. To render all sin and its effects as the same on a moral scale is an incorrect view of it (I would rather be slapped than murdered, and I think it is safe to say the same for all of you :blush: ). We live in a fallen world, and nothing in this lifetime will ever be perfect, but that does not mean: this evil is allowed, so therefore we should allow all evil.

Christians should never force conversion, but to not speak out for those who have no voices is actually in opposition to God’s Word: Proverbs 31:8-9. To say we shouldn’t force morals or morality on non-believers is to say that non-believers have no sense of morality without us. That is incorrect. All people are moral beings because they were all made in the image of God, though some people’s consciences are seared because of their habitually choosing the bad over the good and no longer know the difference between the two (1 Timothy 4:2). However, I do believe it is our job as Christians to converse about these things with the public in public as we hear the RZIM team doing in some places, rather than just and only trying to force it into law, because even if a law is made, if the majority of the people are against it, it is not going to end up going well. While we should be talking about Jesus with people, sometimes people end up seeking Jesus because of gentle and respectful conversations happening in the public realm that confront the thought and convictions underlying some of these more complex moral matters. Our priority is always to seek to introduce Jesus to people, but we should also be working to talk about matters like the sacredness of life to try to persuade. However, in nations like the States, where we are given privileges like voting and working to put something evil that harms others (including the unborn and their mothers who suffer afterwards) into law, we also need to be stewarding that well in regard to these matters.

Even if we do work to persuade and make abortion a legal matter, I pray for wisdom for the Church in doing that and that it moves to make the mothers feel loved and to provide resources and help for those who may feel overwhelmed or burdened by a pregnancy. We should not simply be trying to tell people what is right or wrong but, first and foremost seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus in it all.

As far as capitalism being evil, that is an opinion not shared by all, and though I would like to address it, because it perks my interest, I think it would take us off-topic here. (If you are interested in discussing that with other Christians, you could start a new topic thread in the form of a question to get some discussion going :blush:)

Just so you know, my family and I are starting out on a drive to Ohio tomorrow morning, so if you do get back, it may take me a few days to get back to you :). My phone does not always work well with the phone app. Thank you for the dialogue and looking forward to future conversation with you.

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@psalm151ls

Hi Lindsey,

Thank you for the tip to use the @ to tag someone in a post or reply. :slight_smile: Would you mind helping me learn how you highlight a section to bookmark in your response?

Your response was the best, most well articulated response I’ve heard from anyone on the topic of abortion. Thank you so much. :pray:

One comment you made was especially impactful, “though some people’s consciences are seared because of their habitually choosing the bad over the good and no longer know the difference between the two (1 Timothy 4:2).” That was a gut check of honest feedback, and received with the seriousness implied, and with thankfulness of the graciousness of tone.

I completely agree that we should be having public discussions about these topics. I have advocated, with too much zeal, some of the same points of view I’ve shared here on Connect RZIM. I’ve been posting on Facebook but with far less consideration of the readers of my posts. :frowning:

My struggle has been with the political parties being so extremely left and right. I worry the left is taking things way too far with abortion by advocating for full term abortion, which just doesn’t make any sense at all, and I worry that the right is swinging too far and trying to wipe about women’s right to privacy with her doctor, without a man’s permission. With the far right being the political power house right now, I’ve argued that we as Christians should be leery of tyranny. However, your response has helped me consider many other points. And, you have pointed out some scripture that has me very concerned about deceiving spirits. I ask for your prayers and advice if I need to seek professional counseling or an exorcism (yes, I’m actually serious about that because some things are just not making sense).

Your response about my incorrect application of legalism was excellent. What an amazing way to explain the premise of the Christ’s statement, ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar.’ The question itself being a trap was a brilliant response, and helped me see things much differently. Thank you.

I loved how you explained our responsibility to be stewards with our vote, you really do have an amazing way of explaining these things! I agree with the scale of sin, CS Lewis helps explain this quite well, e.g. blasphemy being far worse than, let’s say, gluttony. I think Martin Luther even addresses this, in ‘Here I Stand’ I recall Luther commenting on vices such as alcohol as compared to pride.

I have failed in so many ways by trying to have public conversations on these very sensitive topics. I’ve been obsessed with politics of late, which in of itself is an addiction I need to surrender to Christ, and I’ve been nearly certain President Trump is the anti-Christ (literally I’ve had this come up many times while praying and meditating).

In my prayers I also keep feeling that I need to check my thoughts with the Word, AND to check with the Church. I’ve discussed these points of view with solid Christians but still wasn’t convinced on how to reconcile perceived evils of Trump, and his politics, against these important topics. I’ve felt strongly that Trump has used some Christian topics, specifically pro-life, to garner a base of supporters, regardless of his behavior. But, if I’m being deceived then I need to reconsider, or at the least take it to the Church for advice.

The one thing I continue to learn, often the hard way, is that I really don’t know much at all, but I keep acting as though I do. That’s not good. My emotional maturity is lacking, and I need to learn how to temper my passions.

I’m very thankful for RZIM and YouTube, and now this Connect community. I hope to learn more and to be held accountable by The Church. Please pray for me.

Praise be to God,
Shane

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Hi, Shane @Shane_Kennett . So good to hear back from you.
Again, I apologize for a delayed response.

I am glad to hear that my response was helpful to you in different ways. As far as highlighting a section, I believe I highlighted what was a quote in the response and hit the quotation symbol in the editing box available at the top of the response box when I hit “Reply.” You can also highlight text you wish to quote in someone’s response, and a “Quote” prompt will come up and you can click on that, and it will automatically put the quotes material in your response box. Does that make sense?

I am glad to hear my response came across with the grace intended. As far as advocating with too much zeal on Facebook, I think many people have that same struggle. Social media can really dehumanize interactions, making it easy to do. One suggestion is if you feel emotionally charged, don’t write. Take a step back, pray, and wait. It’s a good practice to write posts in Word first if possible…or even with pen and paper…and let it sit for a few hours. Come back to read it and ask yourself if it’s something that keeps the integrity of the gospel or tears it down or mars it. Would you want the Connect community to see it :wink:? If not, it may be best left unposted. If you find you have trouble controlling the urge to post, I have found fasting from Facebook helps a great deal :slight_smile:.

As for the Scripture I pointed out that has you concerned about deceiving spirits, could you point out to me which Scripture that was? I will, of course, pray for you in these things. As for exorcism, Christians like yourself need not worry about possession. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. That means that we cannot be possessed by evil spirits. If you think you may need professional counseling, I would encourage you to prayerfully seek that out.

Failing in public conversations about things like war and abortion is something many of us have done. It is simply something we need to learn how to do well, and I am confident that as we spend more time with the Lord and His Word and in communities that teach and model respectful, grace-filled truthful conversation that addresses the person rather than the label (i.e., left, right, pro-life, pro-choice, etc.), the Holy Spirit will grow and mature us to be the instruments of peace and gospel messengers God intends us to be.
Obsession with politics is easy when we care a great deal about issues like abortion. We must remember that the Bible says to pray for those in positions of authority. Sometimes we all need a reminder that it is much easier to spot the evils of someone living in a fish bowl than to examine our own hearts with that same kind of scrutiny. It is important, though, to recognize the sovereignty of God in it all. Politics, government, laws—these are the chariots and horses of men that cannot save us or fix these deep-rooted and complicated issues. When our trust is in God, we can run to Him and not feel like we have to fight so hard politically. While we should steward our votes and voices well, we also need to recognize that at the end of the day, the best and most powerful change that can help turn the tides in a nation and its society and culture is that change that takes place when the hearts and lives of individuals are turned towards the cross in repentance and are committed to Christ.

My friend, knowing that we don’t know much and being able to acknowledge that is the mark and beginning of maturity :blush:.

And yes, Connect is a wonderful community. Praise and glory be to God, indeed, my friend.

In Christ,
Lindsay

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Hi @Shane_Kennett,

I did want to echo Lindsay’s point that we need not fear being possessed by demons.

Al Mohler says, “there is absolutely no New Testament evidence that a believer in Christ can be possessed by demons… we should respect the power of the Devil and his demons, but never fear them. We do not need a rite of exorcism, only the name of Jesus. We are not given a priesthood of exorcists – for every believer is armed with the full promise of the Gospel, united with Christ by faith, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit.”

Don Stewart, at Blue Letter Bible, helpfully lists many verses related to this topic: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_61.cfm

However, I do encourage you to meet with the pastors or elders of your church. There may also be a Stephen Ministry available in your area. Qualified, respected, and wise Biblical counselors or psychologists may also be a valuable resource. I would also encourage you to get involved in a men’s Bible study. This is a good time to step into community.

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Hi Lindsey,

Thank you for your response. I am getting more accustomed to the tools and now know how to quote and a few other cool things. :slight_smile:

Following up on the topic of abortion and Facebook discussions, I’ve recently had another hot topic that I’ve engaged in, the border crisis. I saw an image posted that stated, ‘if you learn that your country is putting children in concentration camps and your main problem is they shouldn’t be called concentration camps because not enough children have died yet…that’s how you know you are stupid or a bad person.’ I shared this post and stated I agree. I agreed, and subsequently argued, because I cannot reconcile how the Trump supporters can be so much for pro life, and yet so pro gun (don’t tread on me) and yet lack compassion for the kids and families trying to escape the horrible situation in Guatemala.

I suppose I just can’t quite figure out how the loudest pro life supporters tend to be the least concerned with humanity. It’s as though it’s easier to take a position of judgment toward a woman who made a bad decision, or worse, who had a bed decision forced upon her. Don’t misunderstand my position, I think abortion is absolutely wrong, and I actually feel the medical procedure itself should be illegal. But, the political topic itself cannot and should not be an excuse to turn a blind eye to the rest of our duties and responsibilities if we are so bold to announce ourselves as Christians.

I did subsequently post an apology for my provocative post because a few close friends mentioned it offended them, and for good reason, it was quite provocative. But I hope a point was understood that we cannot be mad about abortion and not love others. What does the song say, ‘They will know we are Christians by our love’?

You asked me [quote=“psalm151ls, post:18, topic:17509”]
As for the Scripture I pointed out that has you concerned about deceiving spirits, could you point out to me which Scripture that was?
[/quote]
You had mentioned 1 Timothy 4:2, so of course I read the whole chapter, and then the book. This is such great scripture, thank you for referencing. Verse 1 states, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” So my assumption is when you referenced it in regard to verse 2 and our consciousness being seared that there may have been an implication that I needed to make sure I was not being deceived.

I have prayed and meditated quite a bit, while praying I specifically ask our Father if there is any deception. I make certain to say the Lord’s Prayer, and denounce Satan, and I beg our Father to reveal any evil. And He does, so my prayers do take some time to sift through my sins. But, I have concluded that Satan is not deceiving me, but that I’m wrestling with God on some things. And that’s not a bad thing when I compare my spiritual life to the stories of the Bible.

Many, many, many thanks for your responses. They have been a huge help in this journey.

Love,
Shane

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